Canada is the second-largest country in the world, with a population of about 38 million. The second-largest province in Canada is Ontario, which is enormous. It can take months to explore all the beautiful landmarks, picturesque towns, historical wonders, all of delicious multicultural cuisine and experience the incredible culture and great outdoor adventures in Ontario. This guide explores the best places in Ontario that you could visit with the whole family, including the CN Tower, Casa Loma, and the Historic Fort Willow. It will be the experience of a lifetime. So, put on your parkas and get ready for an adventure!
Family-Friendly Places In Ontario
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Toronto’s most famous and popular landmark, the 553-meter CN Tower, is one of the most incredible places in Ontario to visit. From almost anywhere in the city, you can see this Canadian icon looming above downtown. You can view this Canadian icon from the street or take a trip up to one of the observation decks to get a breathtaking view of Lake Ontario. Once known as the tallest freestanding structure in the world, the CN Tower was built between 1972 and 1976 and cost $63 million.
The highest vantage point on the tower is from the Sky Pod, located 447 meters above the city, with views that extend to Niagara Falls and New York State. There are glass-fronted elevators in the tower that also have glass floor panels. This speedy elevator reaches the top in 58 seconds! The CN Tower has floor-to-ceiling windows and a Glass Floor, which provides a bird’s-eye view of Toronto. The LookOut level is 346 meters above the ground and has an outdoor sky terrace for adventurous souls.
The Edge Walk is for those looking for a bigger thrill and wanting to get their adrenaline pumping. Walking along the 365-meter-high ledge surrounded by the central pod is completely hands-free. Visitors are attached to a safety harness and rope. It’s the highest external walk on a building in the world, which will have you clinging to the outside of the structure. A trip to the CN Tower will make lasting memories you will cherish forever and needs to be on your list of places in Ontario you have to visit.
In the revolving 360 Restaurant at 351 meters, you can enjoy fine dining while taking in the breathtaking view. To complete one full revolution, it takes the 360 Restaurant 72 minutes. The fantastic 360 offers lunch and dinner, as well as complimentary access to the tower’s LookOut and Glass Floor levels. The food is pricey but delicious! Enjoy their Saffron, Lemongrass Risotto, Flat Iron Steak, and delectable dessert Coconut Crème Brûlée. It’s the perfect place for date night!
Interesting Facts: The CN Tower remains the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere, the ninth tallest free-standing structure on land, and the third tallest tower in the world.
If you’re a nature lover, Tobermory is one of the best places in Ontario and the world. In addition, it’s the ideal weekend getaway located only four hours northwest of Toronto. There’s no better destination for people who like to escape the noise and traffic of the big city.
Tobermory is a scenic harbor town surrounded by crystal-clear water with towering cliffs and islands. It is one of the most magnificent spots in the Bruce Peninsula and should be on your list of places in Ontario to visit.
Tobermory has a lot of fun activities that the whole family would enjoy. For example, take a 1 hour and 30-minute tour on the glass bottom boat “Great Blue Heron.” This tour will take you to Tobermory’s other harbor, marked by the Big Tub Lighthouse, and you can view a 19th-century shipwreck. Then you will cruise through the Devil Island Channel and the narrow channel between Cove Island and Otter Island. Guests also have an opportunity to photograph the world-famous Flowerpots at Flowerpot Island.
Relax in cozy waterfront cottages, eat fresh local whitefish, and gaze at the Milky Way without a telescope. Tourists also enjoy the Grotto, a huge cave formed by the waves of Georgian Bay over thousands of years. Equipped with an underwater tunnel you can swim in, it is quite a remarkable sight. The beauty of Tobermory makes an excellent backdrop for TV shows. For example, the BBC chose Tobermory as the location of the popular children’s television series Balamory.
Read More: 10 Remarkable Benefits From A Trip To Canada
An extraordinary medieval-style building set on a beautiful landscape, Casa Loma (Spanish for “Hill House”) resembles a castle from the Middle Ages. This magnificent seven-story structure was constructed by the architect E. J. Lennox in 1914 for Sir Henry Pellatt, an eccentric Canadian millionaire. The total floor area of the castle is 64,700 square feet. It’s now a museum with 100 rooms, including three dozen bathrooms. It is a place where visitors can travel back in time and feel they are on the set of the popular Netflix show, Bridgerton.
This castle has seven floors and five acres of estate gardens, decorated suites, lavish fountains, secret passages, one-of-a-kind sculptures, an 800-foot tunnel, towers, stables, and a tunnel leading to the castle. Casa Loma is also the perfect venue to host weddings, and the costs during peak season can run up to a whopping $25,000. It’s also one of the most famous places in Ontario for private events and movie shoots, including The Pacifier, Titans, X-Men, Chicago, The Tuxedo, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Crimson Peak.
Interesting Facts: Sir Henry Pellatt not only had Casa Loma built, but was also the first to recognize and exploit Niagara Falls’ money-making potential. He was the first to profit from its development.
Situated on Lake Superior’s wilderness coast near Wawa, Rock Island is one of the places in Ontario to go for an action-packed getaway that will nourish the adventurer’s soul and relax nature enthusiasts. Rock Island Lodge provides quaint bed-and-breakfast-style accommodations with views of Lake Superior.
Rock Island is a private, seven-acre peninsula with many thrilling activities and learning experiences, including a sea kayak adventure, paddling a canoe, stand-up paddleboarding, guided day trips, or taking a journey by a historic journey voyageur canoe. However, suppose you prefer to avoid an adventure? No problem! The resort also offers art, photography, and yoga workshops.
In addition, the serene beaches are the perfect settings for intimate outdoor weddings and quiet conference facilities for nature-inspired corporate retreats. Finally, if you love being one with nature and enjoy camping, the lodge offers glamping in its waterfront geodesic dome from mid-May to late October.
Interesting Facts: The magnificent Rock Island Lodge offers the only waterfront accommodations for over 250 miles on the Lake Superior Circle Tour.
The beautiful capital city of Canada, Ottawa, is connected to the city of Kingston on Lake Ontario by the 200-kilometer Rideau Canal, which is 1.6 meters deep. Although initially, this canal was designed as a strategic military route between the Ottawa River and Lake Ontario, it is also known as the Rideau Waterway.
The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the summer, locals & tourists enjoy the canal by taking tours on cruise boats and renting houseboats, pontoon boats, canoes, and kayaks. Once the water freezes, the canal becomes an excellent skating area in Ottawa; it is one of the best places in Ontario to skate during the winter.
If you are looking for luxurious accommodations, the Fairmont Château Laurier is one of the most breathtaking hotels in the canal bank area. It is 660,000 square-foot with 429 guest rooms. This hotel was built in 1912 and looked like a castle from medieval times. It was constructed by a prominent Canadian railroad company and is considered a Canadian landmark.
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The site of Historic Fort Willow has a population of 100. During the War of 1812, this once important area was established as a supply depot for British soldiers after centuries of use by Native Americans and European explorers and traders who called it the Nine Mile Portage. Fort Willow and the Nine Mile Portage are recognized as provincial and national historic sites. Even though not much of the old fort is left today, many interesting displays and exhibits provide a glimpse of the buildings that once stood there and the people who lived and worked there.
Historic Fort Willow hosts the “Festival at Fort Willow” where visitors experience what life was like pre-European contact. During this festival, reenactors will wear historically accurate clothing and demonstrate life as it was in those days. Visitors make candles, learn about Indigenous trade with Europeans, understand how sailors work on ships, watch woodcarvers demonstrate live wood carving, and learn about Indigenous gardening practices from the Barrie Garden Club. There are also opportunities to learn about traditional blacksmithing, march with the King’s army, and listen to the cannons roar and muskets fire. This is one example of places in Ontario that have a rich history and are so interesting to learn about.
Historic Fort Willow is also famous for its ghosts. Many paranormal investigators and locals have heard ghostly gunshots throughout the fort, and rumors are a young soldier was sentenced to death for deserting the war of 1812. His restless spirit still haunts the ground.
Fantasy Fair is the largest indoor amusement park in Ontario. It is located in the Woodbine Shopping Centre and is one of the most exciting places in Ontario to take kids when they want to have fun.
Fantasy Fair has 12 full-size rides & attractions, including a kids’ antique carousel, a crystal kaleidoscope Ferris wheel, a climbing wall, ships ahoy (spinning cups), midway games, and bumper cars. There is also a fun play area for the young kids called Dreamer’s Play Village and the exciting XD Simulator ride for the older kids who enjoy thrilling rides. Purchase a family pass (family of four) for only $95 for unlimited ride access.
Your kids can easily spend an entire day and ride the Fantasy Fair Express train throughout the amusement park. Remember to grab a bite at the food court or stroll the attached Woodbine shopping mall.
Interesting Facts: Since opening in 1985, Fantasy Fair has served more than eight million visitors.
The pride of Canada and one of the most prestigious places in Ontario is the Royal Canadian Mint. The Ottawa Mint, founded in 1908, produces more than one billion coins annually, including the Silver Maple Leaf. In 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for issuing a 100 kg, 99.999% pure, $1 million gold bullion coin that was the largest in the world. As well as manufacturing circulation coins on behalf of other countries, the Mint produces all of Canada’s circulation coins.
There is no doubt that the Royal Mint is the biggest and most technologically advanced Mint in the world, which makes it one of the best places in Ontario to visit. Take a 45-minute fascinating guided educational tour of the Mint and learn how the coins are designed and other unique facts about the Mint. Before you leave the Royal Canadian Mint, check out their gift shop for unique gifts, including collector coins and other souvenirs.
Interesting Facts: The Royal Canadian Mint is among the world’s most well-recognized producers of collector coins, in addition to gold, silver, and platinum bullion coins, medals, and medallions. Coin collectors, take note when you’re considering places in Ontario to explore!
Ontario’s best-kept secret is the breathtaking Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater island. Located on Lake Huron, this (1,167 square miles) is one of the best places in Ontario and has some of Ontario’s most iconic landmarks like the Kicking Mule Ranch, Bridal Veil Falls, Strawberry Island Lighthouse, Little Current Lighthouse, Chi-Cheemaun Ferry, and the Benjamin Islands. Visitors can also tour the steam-powered ferry, the SS Norisle, built-in 1946.
The island has many unique accommodations, including quaint bed & breakfasts, cabins, cottages, and tipis. Tourists enjoy cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, skating, and curling during the winter months. In Spring, people enjoy bird watching, hiking, and fishing.
Take the Great Spirit Circle Tour and get to know the culture and traditions of the Anishinabek people living on Manitoulin Island, and then you will understand why this is one of the best places in Ontario to visit. They offer the best First Nation experiences on Manitoulin Island, like hiking the Cup and Saucer Trail, smudging ceremonies, storytelling, bareback horse rides, traditional dancing, and building your own miniature birch bark canoe and drum.
Interesting Facts: Manitoulin Island is Canada’s 31st largest island, with 108 freshwater lakes.
Take your family on an adventure of a lifetime and jump into exploring these magnificent places in Ontario and create Instagram-worthy memories that you will cherish forever, eh! Tour this vast province and explore all the beauty of the most iconic places in Ontario, including Manitoulin Island and the pride of Canada, the Royal Mint in Ottawa. We hope this guide will help you plan your visit and introduce you to places in Ontario you’ve never heard of before! Enjoy the culture, cuisine, and beautiful landmarks spread across this expansive province.
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